6 Tips If you Child is a Victim of Cyberbullying
- When you discover your child is being cyberbullied the first thing you need to do is establish your child’s safety and most importantly, make them feel safe. Offer the safety by giving them your support. First step is in being proactive to stop the cyberbullying. Children feel safe when they know you have their back. Sit down and have a conversation about what’s going on with the cyberbullying. Let them have their say and listen to their concerns. This will provide you with a better understanding on how to deal with it with them.
- Next, when cyberbullying is taking place, it is very important to collect evidence of the bullying. Take screenshots of every single instance you can find on social media, text messages and emails. Make sure the date is on the screenshots. Keep a notebook and take notes of anything pertaining to the cyberbullying. Record frequency of messages, length of messages, severity of threats within the messages, and any witnesses or third party involved. Screen shot the person doing the bullying, their social media home pages, and record any backstory to it.
- If the cyberbully is from school, you need to take the evidence to the authorities at school and go over the details with them. The school administration needs to know when such things occur. This will help the teachers and administrators to keep an eye on the situation and perhaps step in and diffuse the problem if possible.
- If possible, don’t approach the parents of the bully until you’ve exhausted all other avenues. Parents become defensive with accusations towards their child so it’s best to let the school try and handle it first. They may contact the parents and that’s the judicial way to go about involving them.
- If cyberbullying is occurring on a social media website, you should contact the site and let them know about it. They have the authority to pull down such accounts that pose threats to others. Check the terms of service and point out violations of such terms.
- If the threats are very harmful with tones of physical danger do contact the police and file a complaint. Take all the evidence you have and give copies to the police. Contact the police, sheriff, state police, or whichever law enforcement services you feel could help.
Important! If the cyberbullying is based on disability, gender, or race you can also contact the Office of Civil Rights. Children who are threatened based on these criteria are taken seriously if the cyberbullying threatens their education.